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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peñafrancia Festival 2013 Highlights

Peñafrancia Festival 2013 Highlights
This September, all roads lead to Naga City, declared as “Pilgrimage Capital” by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 33 of 2010 and colloquially known as “Queen City” of the Bicol region in the Philippines. 

Hordes of people composed of Marian pilgrims and tourists flock to this City to celebrate the Peñafrancia Festival which is centered on giving tribute to the Virgin Mary in the miraculous image called Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia (Our Lady of Peñafrancia). 

Bicolanos, the locals of Bicol region, fondly refer to her as Inâ (mother).

Various activities are lined up for this year's festival, the highlights of which are as follows:
Source: Naga Smiles to the World FB


Traslacion, which falls on the second Friday of September, officially marks the first day of the Peñafrancia Festival. That day is also the feast of the Divino Rostro (Holy Face or the Image of the Divine Face of Jesus).

The Traslacion procession or Paghubò ki Inâ (transfer of our Mother) is the transfer of the miraculous image of Inâ and the Divino Rostro from the shrine at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City where novena and holy masses will be held. This tradition began in 1885.
Picture of Divino Rostro taken by Jojo Prieto
During the procession, Inâ and the Divino Rostro, on their respective dome-shaped andas (carriage), will be carried by barefooted voyadores up to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Some devotees will usually try to climb the andas to touch the images. Others will throw their handkerchiefs or small face towels to the devotees or priests on board the andas to be wiped on the images or on the surface of the dome-shaped andas. The handkerchiefs will then be returned to the devotees by throwing them back in their direction. The devotees believe that by touching the images or having their handkerchiefs touch the images or their andas, they will be cured of their ailment or the same will bring them good luck or good fortune.

"Voyadores" is an altered form of the Spanish word vogadores, which means seafarers. Loosely, "voya" means "to transport something to another place." So, the "voyadores" transport something to another place. In this case, they transport Inâ and the Divino Rostro.

Throng of devotees follow the images while waving their handkerchiefs and shouting "Viva" or "Viva la Virgen" or "Viva la Virgen de Peñafrancia" or "Viva el Divino Rostro." 
Ladawan:Andas ni Ina 003.jpg
Picture of the Palanquin or Andas taken by Ringer
More than a decade ago, the andas used to carry the images are made of wood and do not have wheels. They are carried on the shoulders of the voyadores during the processions. Later, they were replaced with andas made of steel and which have wheels. In 2009, larger and higher andas replaced the old ones. As shown in the above picture, the wheels used in the new andas are those being used in airplanes.

Fluvial Procession 

On the 9th day of the Novena which will fall on the 3rd Saturday of September, Inâ and the Divino Rostro will be returned to the Peñafrancia shrine in Basilica Minore through the Naga City river route. 

The voyadores will carry the images on their respective dome-shaped andas from the Metropolitan Cathedral up to the river bank near the city public market. 

During the procession on foot, devotees usually try to get near the images or throw their hankerchiefs or small face towels to the devotees or priests on board the andas to be wiped on the images or on the surface of the dome-shaped andas.

Throng of devotees follow the images while waving their handkerchiefs and shouting "Viva" or "Viva la Virgen" or "Viva la Virgen de Peñafrancia" or "Viva el Divino Rostro." 
 Picture of Inâ taken by Rafael F. Matubis 
From the river bank, the images will be transferred to a huge pagoda/ barge that will be pulled by long bancas (boats) manually paddled by the boatmen/ devotees in colorful shirts up to the bank of the river near the Basilica Minore. Along the banks of the river, devotees with lighted candles wave their handkerchiefs as the barge/ pagoda passes by.
Picture of the actual fluvial procession in NAGA CITY taken by Atty. Rene Dela Cruz
Upon arrival at the Basilica, the images will be received in formal religious rites by Roman Catholic dignitaries.  

Viva la Virgen de Peñafrancia!

Viva el Divino Rostro!


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